Roundup for Safety grant will help detect fire and locate victims

A $10,000 Roundup for Safety grant will provide West Valley Volunteer Fire and Rescue (WVVFR) with new Thermal Imaging Cameras (TIC) that are carried on the fire engines to detect hidden heat sources. The TICs will not only be used to locate fire or heat sources in walls, but the device can help locate victims in smoke filled rooms or those who’ve been thrown from a vehicle on a dark night.

WVVFR operates in a 100 square mile district with over 10,000 residents of the Flathead Valley. They respond to over 550 emergency calls on an annual basis and expect that call count will continue to rise. They say the thermal equipment is critical to public safety because it enables firefighters to find the heat source and extinguish it before it is able to spread further and become life threatening.

In addition to West Valley Fire and Rescue, Flathead Electric Cooperative’s Roundup for Safety Board also awarded grants for the following safety related community projects, bringing the total awarded at the June meeting to $26,360:

Columbia Falls Youth Softball-$6,500 for a new baseball field backstop;

Faith Covenant Presbyterian Church-$5,000 for community parking lot lighting;

Kalispell Police Department-$3,200 for ballistic shields for officers;

Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center-$660 for first aid kits, a GPS unit, and water filtration; and,

Flathead High School-$1,000 for an AED.

Roundup for Safety is a voluntary program for Flathead Electric Cooperative members who allow their electric bills to be rounded up to the next dollar, with the extra money going into a fund for community nonprofit safety projects. The Co-op is grateful to all who participate in enhancing the safety of our community. For additional information about the program, call Wendy Ostrom Price at 406-751-1820 or visit